PASCO, WA—Jim Sterling, 31, reported Monday that he's excited to resume his friendship with his soon-to-be-divorced buddy Andy Freiburg.
"Awesome," Sterling said, shortly after learning that Freiburg was divorcing Katie Burello, his wife of four years. "The Ster-Frei combo is back in action!"
Sterling and Freiburg became friends when they roomed together as freshmen at the University of Washington, and they remained friends after college, with Sterling serving as a groomsman at the couple's 2000 wedding. However, after Freiburg was married, Sterling said he and his friend rarely socialized without Burello present.
"Katie's all right, I guess," said Sterling, who has never been in a relationship for longer than three months. "But she really kept Andy on a tight leash. After the wedding, I only got to see Andy about once a month, and Katie almost always tagged along. And she'd always cut the night short with some excuse, like that she had to get up for work."
Sterling said Freiburg just wasn't himself when his wife was present.
"Whenever Katie was around, Andy would get all boring," Sterling said. "He wouldn't do shots; he'd just sit there sipping on a light beer. He'd never use our catch phrases or talk about the dumb stuff we did in college, either. Instead, he'd drone on about some computer-animation project he was doing or some boring thing going on in his neighborhood."
"Well, this divorce proves what I've said all along: You can't drag a party animal like Andy out to the sticks and expect him to turn into Joe Suburb," Sterling said. "It's only a matter of time before the full moon rises. I'm sure that's why things didn't work out with Katie."
Sterling said he'd noticed Freiburg reverting to his pre-marital self over recent months.
"Andy never talked about Katie, but I knew something was up, because suddenly he was going out without her a lot more often," Sterling said. "He'd stay out later, and one night he even crashed at my place and called in sick to work. When he told me that he and Katie were separating, I was like, 'It's about time!'"
Sterling has been helping Freiburg during his time of need by cleaning his apartment and scouting out area taverns in search of good happy-hour drink specials.
"Andy's going to need a place to stay, and I have a couch with his name on it," Sterling said. "It'll be so cool to have him crash here. It'll be just like when we were in college. We can stay up all night and make fun of infomercials, and we can watch all the games together. It's going to be great."
Sterling said he's been rounding up other college friends, as well.
"Will's still single, and Dave lost his job the other day—talk about good timing," Sterling said. "Maybe we can start up our dart league again. We were the kings of Hunter's Pub."
Sterling said he's especially looking forward to "hitting the singles market" with his newly available friend.
"I figure he'll need at least a week to get himself back together, so during that time, we'll just drink at home and go to movies," Sterling said. "But after that, look out! I gotta admit, it's been pretty dry in my neck of the woods. He'll be getting all that rebound action, and I'll be there to collect his cast-off pity sex."
Freiburg, who has not yet heard any of Sterling's plans, was contacted for comment at his brother Dale's house, where he has been staying since Sunday.
"I feel worse than I ever have in my entire life," Freiburg said. "When I'm not working, I'm packing. When I'm not packing, I'm talking to my lawyer. When I'm not talking to my lawyer, I'm crying. It feels like everything is falling apart around me. I just want to be alone."